From the Star Ledger:
Residents of Bedminster are used to getting a blank look whenever they tell people the name of their hometown, followed by a quizzical, “Where?”
They usually answer the question by explaining it’s near Basking Ridge, or Bernardsville, or the Bridgewater mall.
With a very special neighbor expected to make frequent weekend visits this summer, however, that may change.
Less certain, though, is whether the local real estate market will experience a Trump Effect.
As Donald Trump quietly concluded his first getaway weekend in New Jersey since taking office, will his presence bring a certain cachet to the region, or be a turn-off to customers who worry about the commotion it might bring?
“We’re used to him, you know,” said Debra Groendyk, a real estate agent manning an open house of a property with 38 acres smack in the middle of horse country.
“We all know the different helicopters by now: ‘Oh, there’s the Trump helicopter. Oh, there’s the Forbes helicopter,'” she said.
While feelings about Trump still run high on both sides, so far they don’t seem to be rubbing off on town itself, several agents said.
“I’ve not had a single customer say, ‘Oh, Trump lives there! I don’t want to live there!,” said Groendyk. Nor has she had any customers express a preference for Bedminster-based solely on Trump’s use of his golf club there as a weekend retreat.
Any commotion was at a minimum this weekend. While there were planned protests on Saturday, just one person showed up briefly on Sunday. There were police cars parked at the front and side entrances of the golf club, but no road closures.
Instead, the traffic jams and parking headaches were a few miles away, at the fabulously popular rummage sale run by the Somerset County Visiting Nurses Association.
For Angela Olsen, a Scotch Plains residents exploring homes for sale in the Somerset Hills neck of the woods, the notion that the president could have any possible impact on that hunt gave her pause. She had made the association between the president’s visit and the town she was exploring just the day before, she said.
“Hopefully it won’t drive up prices for people who just want to live here for other reasons,” she said.
One change everyone agrees is likely: they’ll no longer have to give a long geography lesson whenever they mention Bedminster.
“He’s putting it on the map,” said Melton, “and maybe that’s good.”